This Wednesday, the Federal Court of Appeal dismissed Taseko Mines Ltd.'s case against the federal environmental assessment of its proposed New Prosperity copper-gold mine in Tŝilhqot’in territory in central British Columbia. The Court found that the federal review panel was well within its authority to make the findings that it did, but also found that Taseko had not shown any inadequacies in the way the Panel had evaluated the information it had received.
MiningWatch Canada, represented by Ecojustice, intervened in this case from the beginning. As we noted when the appeal went to court back in January, after the Federal Court had dismissed Taseko's lawsuit back in 2017,
MiningWatch Canada, represented by Ecojustice lawyer Sean Nixon, intervened in the court case in order to reinforce the integrity of several key aspects of the environmental assessment process, which echoed earlier findings that the project in its original form posed an unacceptable risk to the environment and specifically to Teztan Biny (“Fish Lake”), a site of great importance to the Tŝilhqot’in Nation. When the case originally went to court two years ago , we described how Taseko took a backwards approach to the environmental assessment by claiming that it would address any serious environmental problems after the assessment process. We submitted to the Court, and the Court agreed, that one of the core purposes of environmental assessment is precisely to look at a range of scenarios and investigate potential problems – and their solutions – before a project can be approved.
We're glad that the Federal Court of Appeal upheld the lower court's findings.
For more background, see:
- From January, 2017: Prosperity Mine – A Precautionary Tale: The Importance of Environmental Assessments
- From December, 2017: Dead Mine Walking? Federal Court Reconfirms Taseko’s “New Prosperity” Mine a ‘No Go’